Oct. 18, 2013
PITTSBURGH — Vegas defeated Navy, 5-3, Friday afternoon in the first game of the Navy/Vegas World Series.
Joseph Harvey (JR/Audobon, Pa.) picked up the win for Vegas after pitching three shutout frames of one-hit relief while Hobe Harris (JR/McKinney, Texas) was tagged with the loss.
“I thought we played pretty hard,” said head coach Joe Jordano after the exhibition. “We have some things that obviously need to be cleaned up, but I like the direction the team is going in. I think we’re doing a lot of positive things and I think there are some solid pieces to the puzzle there. It’s just a matter of us fine-tuning, putting the right combination of players on the field and putting our pitchers in position for success.”
After suspending play due to inclement weather on Thursday afternoon, the intrasquad game continued in the top of the third inning. Navy’s Steven Shelinsky, Jr. (SR/Furlong, Pa.) stepped up to the plate with two outs and runners on second and third and delivered a three-run shot to dead center field off of Vegas southpaw Andrew Belfiglio (SO/Newtown Square, Pa.) to open the scoring.
Belfiglio was able to shake off the Shelinsky homer and got out of the inning with a strikeout. Sam Mersing (FR/McKees Rocks, Pa.) then came in during the top of the fourth and pitched a trio of scoreless innings allowing Vegas to claw its way back into the game.
Trailing 3-0 heading into the bottom half of the fourth, Vegas quickly responded to Navy’s three-run outburst when Nick Yarnall (FR/Landisville, Pa.) led off the inning with a solo home run to right. Vegas threatened Navy’s lead once again in the bottom of the fifth inning when a perfectly placed sacrifice bunt by Jordan Frabasillo (JR/Chandler, Ariz.) down the third base line moved both runners into scoring position, but Navy pitcher Luke Curtis (JR/Philipsburg, Pa.) finished off his counterpart with back-to-back strikeouts to end the inning.
In the bottom of the sixth, Dylan Wolsonovich (SO/Ford City, Pa.) reached base via a bunt single and Frank Maldonado (FR/Short Hills, N.J.) followed by drawing a base on balls on four pitches. Both Vegas base runners advanced on a one-out double-steal and Matt Johnson (JR/Plano, Texas), who went 3-for-5 with two RBI in the game, grounded out to shortstop scoring Wolsonovich from third to make it a 3-2 ball game.
Yarnall drew a walk against Harris to lead off the seventh and later advanced to second on a wild pitch and to third on a Tyler Albert (JR/Montoursville, Pa.) sacrifice bunt. Caleb Parry (FR/Riverside, Calif.) then grounded a Harris delivery to Keaton Miller (JR/Webster, Texas) at short, but a fielding error by Miller allowed Yarnall to come across home plate to tie the game, 3-3.
Navy hurler Harris allowed Vegas runners to reach first and second in the bottom of the eighth inning when he hit Maldonado and intentionally walked Casey Roche (SR/Downingtown, Pa.) after a wild pitch. Frabasillo then launched a two-RBI double to the left field power alley giving Vegas its first lead of the game.
From there, Harvey was able to close the door on the 5-3 victory with 1-2-3 ninth inning for Vegas.
The Panthers wrap up their Navy/Vegas World Series tomorrow at noon at Charles L. Cost Field at the Petersen Sports Complex. Admission is free to all fans.